Several high-profile referees are marred by bias and a complete lack of common sense, much like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Is this the end of competitive sports?
Scoops is no huge fan of football, in the European sense, but this columnist feels compelled to address several egregious officiating decisions that are rocking the sports world. In a dramatic Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspurs, the referee gifted Spurs an undeserved victory over the Reds, but the match was tainted by three—three!—dreadful calls that ultimately robbed Liverpool of three points.
It all started with a red card in the first half. For those Americans unfamiliar with soccer—of which there are many—a yellow card is issued by the ref when a player hits an honest slide tackle and takes out the player, accidentally, instead of the ball. A yellow card is issued when a player pulls on the jersey of another to drag him back, impeding a counterattack. A yellow card is a warning— even then, oftentimes, players commit “fouls” that won’t amount to yellows. A straight red, however, is rarely dished out by the ref. A straight red is reserved for dirty plays and malicious slide tackles, purposeful elbows to the jaw. When you get a straight red, you’re ejected from the match, and banned from the following three. It’s an extremely serious offense.
In the match Saturday, a young Liverpool lad, Curtis Jones, was initially shown a yellow card for an aggressive, albeit perfectly fair, challenge on a Tottenham midfielder. However, the refs reviewed the tackle on VAR, the league’s replay system, and decided it amounted to a red card. Jones was subsequently sent off, putting Liverpool a man down against Spurs.
The second embarrassing decision came just before the end of the first half. Liverpool notched a beautifully worked goal to go up 2-1, even with a man down. But the assistant ref, the goon who stands on the sidelines and pretty much exists to call offsides or not, raised his flag and called offsides, overturning the goal on the field. The refs went on to review the play on their VAR system, which is supposed to provide a precise and indisputable recap of what went down.
Although the goal was onside, even to the naked eye, the VAR refs sided with the official ref on the field. No overturning. No goal. An utter disgrace.
In the third instance of incompetence and stupidity, the main ref issued a yellow card to Liverpool forward Diogo Jota after a bumbling Tottenham player tripped over himself in the midfield. Jota didn’t make contact at all. The Spurs player looked like Joe at his disastrous Air Force speech when a sandbag sent him flying. Later in the match, Jota committed a second foul, earning a second yellow, which amounts to a red card. He was sent off, and Liverpool was down to 9 men.
In the end, Liverpool scored an own goal in the sixth minute of extra time, handing Tottenham an undeserved victory on a diamond-crusted, golden platter. To quote one commentator, “Liverpool was robbed.”
Just like American football, English football has been pussified. As neurotic moms freaked out over CTE, pasty bureaucrats and limp-wristed pundits—those who’ve never played a game in their lives, let alone a contact sport, whether it’s football, lacrosse or soccer — destroyed the English game, turning it from a physical, fast-paced, and demanding sport to a pussified deformity more concerned about protecting the ACLs of overpaid superstars than the stuff of greatness: spirit, grit, underdog upsets.
Sleepy Joe and cackling Kamala have turned America into a country fretting over pronouns instead of ChiComs. Diversity quotas over deportations.
Incompetence and stupidity.
The refs across the pond are no different. But there is one difference, I suppose. They apologized.